Sometimes studios will hit big on a film, and other times, they’ll be so far off the mark as to miss the boat completely. Take the case of Frostbite. Summarized, as one cast member puts it, as “part Caddyshack meets part American Pie meets part Dude, Where’s My Car? in the snow.” You know, I remember a movie kinda like that, and I rented it back in 1984, when t was called Hot Dog..The Movie.
To their credit, the producers did try to create a link to the …0s when they cast Traci Lords in a small, forgettable role as a coffee shop owner, but if you can’t get Shannon Tweed in your movie, don’t bother getting anyone else. The story itself is kinda familiar, and you can read along with me as I am from the back of the case: “slacker Billy Wagstaff has a chance to become a world-class snowboarder when he’s accepted into Pine Mountain Snowboarding Academy. But after a crazy night in a hot tub with babes and booze, he wakes up in a trash can – and out of the academy. That’s when Billy realizes he needs to put his best foot forward and get back on the mountain.”
Well, you get the idea. There’s a problem; I watched this movie, and I don’t remember him “in a hot tub with babes and booze.” Don’t get me wrong, there is a hot tub scene with topless playboy playmates, but that’s later in the film. If one of the other 3 people out there who have seen this movie can correct me if I’m wrong, please do. I do have a point here, and the point here is that even the marketing folks are lying to the viewer! There’s so much wrong in this film, but I’ll shorten it to these two things; first, about 10 minutes in, there’s a sign that limits access of a mountain to the Academy. Only it’s spelled “Pine MOUNTIAN Academy Members, No TRESSPASSING!” When your prop guys can’t spell, maybe it’s time to pack it up. And second, the movie is 83 minutes long. With credits. Take out the first 3 minutes for opening titles, and the last 7 minutes for the end credits and a blooper reel, and this thing is 73 minutes long. That’s not a movie runtime, it’s a very special “extended” episode of ER. The story was forgettable, the jokes were not funny, but the guy who played Jackie Childs on Seinfeld was here, and he was worth a small chuckle from me, and that’s the only redeemed feature I can find in what was a huge waste of time and money.
Surprisingly, the film comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. While at first I was surprised by this, the fact is the soundtrack isn’t really that good. There is a decent low end to it, but the dialogue sounded like it was recorded very low and the music was recorded a little louder, but it almost sounded like a 2.0 surround track would have been a much better idea.
Fox gives Frostbite the flipper treatment, with a 1.33:1 full screen version on one side and a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen version on the other. The widescreen version looked OK at times, but other times it looked very dark and subdued, perhaps as a concern to tone down all the white the viewer would see. Overall however, my major complaint about the film wasn’t with the video quality.
Well, there’s about 10 minutes worth of deleted/alternate scenes which, for a movie of this length, is a little mindboggling. There’s even a 7 minute making of featurette with cast and crew interviews. While the movie may be a bit haggard, the fact that Fox even put extras on this shows you that they are still pretty good DVD friendly studio.
The fact that Fox can put even a few extras and a 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack on what ultimately was a horrible movie shows what kind of thought they give to the DVD consumer. However, if the regular consumer can be so turned off by the product, they should explore that option first.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes
- Making of Featurette
- Music Video